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The New Image Of Childhood In Japan During The Years 1945-49 And The Construction Of A Japanese Collective Memory

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Chapter Summary

The author aims to understand the nature of connection between the real life and the memory of the recent past (that of the war) of the children of 1945-49, and to understand the relationship between the children's actual experiences and the current adult discourse on childhood. The author attempts to point out that, in addition to the acknowledged trauma of this time: first, indoctrination and the cruel reality of war, and later, the shock of defeat and the disastrous living conditions of the immediate post-war period, paradoxically, the children of the years 1945-49 were also victims of the measures taken to liberate them. The author illustrates two ways in which the means of actually carrying out these measures were traumatic for the children involved. The author's hypothesis is that these traumas were of major consequence in how the collective perception and memory of the war were constructed thereafter in Japan.

Keywords: childhood; Japan; post-war period; trauma; war



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